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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  January 4, 2018 6:00pm-7:00pm PST

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what steve bannon is finding out now that he doesn't have proximity to the president, nobody will take his call, nobody cares about him, nobody knows who he is. >> you're not the product, you're the salesman. thanks, that the "all in" for this evening. good evening. much appreciated. thanks to you at home for joining us this hour. i had a whole different show planned tonight. i had a, b, c, d, e, six blocks planned for a show tonight that's not going to happen. if it's a day that ends in y, that means my best plans fly out the window in the last few minutes before i get on the air because of breaking news. tonight within the last hour there is breaking news from "the new york times" that fbi director james comey's bombshell claims about president trump have been substantiated by the special counsel robert mueller. now, if this reporting from "the
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new york times" tonight bears out, this is a big deal. these claims from james comey, these are the claims that led to the special counsel being appointed in the first place. these are the claims that are at the heart of the president's personal legal liability for potentially criminal obstruction of justice. these are the claims that have led the president and the white house and the president's republican supporters in congress to all start trashing the fbi as an organization and start personally going after individual high-ranking officials in the fbi trying to pick them off one by one in terms of credibility and role as corroborating witnesses. in this new reporting that's just been posted by the new york times, michael schmidt says robert mueller obtained independent occo-o claims. we know that the fbi opened a counter intelligence
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investigation into the trump campaign and ties to russia in the summer of 2016. so in the summer of the presidential campaign. james comey was the director of the fbi. he stayed on when trump became president. then trump became president and in may of 2017, trump fired james kcomey. initially the white house offered a shaky explanation trump had to be fired about something how he handled the clinton e-mail investigation months earlier. that did not last. the president soon spilled the beans and told nbc's lester holt in fact, the russia investigation had been on his mind when he decided he had to fire james comey. he then also told two officials from the russian government in the oval office that firing james comey as head of the fbi would relief pressure on him on the issue of arussia. that happened in quick secession
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in may. james comey being fired and the explanation completely unraveling within 48 hours. that was in may. then in june, james comey testified before congress and he -- it was riveting and it was very important testimony, right? comey testified that before he was fired by president trump, president trump had pressured him multiple times to drop the fbi russia investigation, to let go of the fbi investigation into trump national security advisor mike flynn. james comey said president trump pressured him to make statements exonerating the president and when james comey didn't do any of those things, didn't subreako the pressure, the president fired him. that was comey's crucial testimony in june. even more crucially, comey testified at the time that when the president pressured him to do all those things, he says he recognized those as
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extraordinary moments between him and the president. extraordinary things for the president to be doing and saying and memorialized them. he shared information about conversations with the president with other senior leaders at the fbi and did it on purpose to have a record of what the president had done. the white house has since denied that the president ever pressured james comey to drop the russia investigation. but this one crucial question about whether the president fired comey in an effort to obstruct justice and effort to block the russia investigation at the fbi, that crucial question in terms, including the president's personal criminal liability may hinge in large part whether or not what comey says happened can be proven. well, now tonight, michael
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schmidt reports robert mueller has the evidence to do so. quote, mr. mueller has substantiated claims mr. comey made describing troubling interactions with the president before he was fired in may. the special counsel has received hand-written notes from mr. trump's former chief of staff reince priebus showing mr. trump talked about how he had called mr. comey to urge him to say he was not under investigation. handwritten notes. handwritten notes. you might remember this, back in september there was a report about potential liability that might attend to some copious hand-written notes from trump's top staffers in the white house. do you remember that? from axios back in september? there was -- they set up a warning sign in september that hand-written notes taken in the oval office during the campaign and transition and early days of
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the trump administration might end up being trouble now that there was a special counsel investigation into a lot of things that happened at that time including the firing of james comey. the funny thing is, the warning flag went up in september, not about reince priebus. we thought it would be about sean spicer. do you remember this? former colleagues of sean spicer tell axios that he filled notebook after notebook later at the trump campaign and white house. when spicer worked at the rnc, he filled black books. he was so well-known for copious notes, it was joked about writing a tell all. the records were just to help him do his job. sean documented everything the source said. this surprised some ocho ocffic who said because of past investigations they took as few notes as possible when they worked in the west wing. that was reported in september, that sean spicer's copious notes would be a honey pot for mueller
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and his investigation. maybe sean spicer's notes will e rememb ve prove to be that tonight, again, "the new york times" is reporting it's the handwritten notes from reince priebus, those notes now in the hands of robert mueller, notes that substantiate the bombshell claims made by james comey that the president personally pressured him on the russia investigation before he fired him. and there is more. also prom this reporting tonight in the "new york times", quote, president trump gave firm instructions in march to the white house's top lawyer to stop the attorney general jeff sessions from recruiting himself in the justice department's investigation into whether trump's associates helped a russian campaign to disrupt the 2016 election. mr. trump, sorry, mr. trump apparently instructed white house counsel don mcgahn that he should, that he should go pressure jeff sessions to recuse
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himself from the russia investigation, mr. mcgahn's argument to sessions is he did not need to step aside until it you are the further along and recruiting himself would not stop democrats from saying he had lied. after jeff sessions said career justice department officials said he should step aside, mcgahn said he understood and backed down. newly reported by "the new york times" that the president personally directed the white house counsel to go lobby the attorney general, doesn't recuse yourself on the russia investigation. we don't know either how strange that is, behavior by the president or whether that's potentially a problem for the president if he is being investigated for obstruction of justice. so that's one further point tonight from "the new york times." the president reportedly instructing his white house counsel to go stop the recusal of the attorney general. we know that wasn't effective. don mcgahn wasn't able to persuade jeff sessions but reportedly he tried.
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also, "the new york times" further reports tonight that his, the president's intention to fire james comey was so unnerving to some members of the white house staff, to people inside the white house counsel's office, his intention to fire comey according to the "new york times" led one of mr. mcgahn's deputies to mislead the president about his authority to fire the fbi director. this is quite remarkable. the lawyer, somebody named dillon, don't know how you pronounce the first name, u-t-t-i-m, a deputy to don mcgahn in the white house counsel's office was convinced if comey was fired, it could be imperilled because it would force the justice department to open an investigation. long-standing analysis of presidential power says the president does not need grounds to fire the fbi director, mr.
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dillon is a veteran lawyer and had been so before joining the trump white house and assigned a junior lawyer to examine this issue. they determined the fbi director was no different than any employee. there was nothing prohibiting the president from hiring him but mr. dillon who had earlier told mr. trump he needed cause to fire mr. comey never corrected the record with holding the conclusions. again, just remarkable in this reporting from michael schmidt tonight. he said there is somebody that worked and potentially still works in the white house office who intentionally lied to the president about whether or not he had it within his power to fire james comey, leaving intentionally an incorrect impression with the president that he couldn't fire james comey because he was so afraid if he fired comey, the trump presidency would be quote imperill imperilled. the president's own lawyers feeling like they need to lie to him. a lot tonight. just breaking from michael
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schmidt and joins us now. thank you for joining us. i really appreciate you being here. >> thank you for having me. >> i'm just getting through this. i'm struck most of all, by this report that the special counsel has substantiated claims made by james comey about his troubling interactions with the president. can you explain how the special counsel's office was able to do that and how important this is? >> on april 11th, comey testified when he testified before congress, he said on april 11th, trump called him and said you got to help me get out the word for the justice department i'm not under investigation. when the white house handed over notes and documents to the special counsel's office, they handed over stuff from reince priebus. in which the president discussed with him the conversation that
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he had had with comey and how trump said comey said that the white house needed to reach out tod dana bente. these substantiated what comey was saying in the memos that led trump to have a conversation with reince priebus about it. that is what the evidence that mueller has that shows that these events that comey has described indeed occurred. we know the white house said comey is a liar and he made these things up so in terms of substantiating understanding whether what comey said is true, this gets mueller closer to that. that's a much more completion legal question but in terms of the facts, this bolsters comey's claims. >> michael, let me be specific with you about that. in terms of what reince priebus' handwritten notes corroborate, they corroborate the president, the president told james comey that he should make public
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statements exonerating the statement in the russia probe. is there any other specific thing the notes attested to? >> what trump was trying to do is get his name cleared publicly. comey when going before congress would not say that trump was not under investigation. he wouldn't answer the question. but privately, comey had told trump he was under investigation. comey wasn't going to say it. he said to the president, do you really need to go through the justice department. trump turns around and tells priebus and priebus takes down notes from the conversation and supposed to follow up with don mcgahn about it. i don't know if that happened. this conversation that comey described in memos on the other side in the white house, trump is having a conversation with priebus that shows the same thing that comey was saying in the memos. >> in terribles of these notes from reince priebus, i mentioned it had been previously reported back in september that sean spicer was known for taking
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copious handwritten notes in all jobs at the rnc in the trump transition, that was raising eyebrows among people that previously worked in other houses saying that could be a dangerous thing if you understaend up under investigation. was it known his handwritten notes existed, that's something he kept during his tenure and did we know before tonight all of his notes had been handed over to the special counsel? >> this is certainly something i didn't know anything about and hadn't read anything about. the white house produced an enormous amount of documents to the special counsel's office, e-mails, memos or handwritten stuff. i don't know if they handed over everything he wrote down. the white house has not exerted executive or attorney client privilege on any document. the strategy from the trump's lawyers has been let's give them everything that we have, that's the quickest way to clear our
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name. now there is a real debate among lawyers whether this is a smart move. a blow back is it allows for eloquent bar embarrassing things. maybe it may not show legality but shows things that were going on at the white house that may not reflect well on the president. >> michael, you report that the president personally directed his counsel, his white house counsel don mcgahn to go to the justice department to talk attorney general jeff sessions out of recruiting himself. i don't know enough about how these things work with recuseal are decided and how it works between the white house counsel. how unusual is that sort of treaty from the white house counsel? >> the trump presidency is testing things we never thought would be tested before about sort of what are the rules of the road that govern recusals and can the white house lobby an
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attorney general? in the balance of the justice department, there are guidelines but these are things that don't come up often. we're looking at a question of trump asking comey on february 14th to end an investigation. is that legal? is that illegal? these are things that the trump presidency has redone research d reporting about because they are not things wii see've seen previously. >> you further report a deputy, mr. dillon, essentially the way you describe it dia lib -- deliberately mislead the president. that's a remarkable an in this case -- anecdote. is he still working in the white house counsel's office.
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>> if the president fired comey, he would imperial the presidency and cast a shadow because the j justice department would have to look whether this is obstruction of justice. in the process, he initially told trump you need a reason to fire the fbi director. you need cause to do that but what happened is when he turned around and asked the office to do research, they said you don't need a reason. dillon didn't do anything about it. he didn't tell the president he had subsequent meetings with him. he never came back and creskandd the record. eventually the president was able to figure out he would do it without cause and you get to the firing of comey. this is a way that dillon believed that he could delay the president until the president found something else to fix his attention on. >> the president has to think about that now as a factor at work. just remarkable reporting. michael schmidt, i know you're
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in incredible demand for this piece. thank you for spending tyime wih us. >> thanks for having me. >> if there is a lawyer in the white house that deliberately led the president to maneuver him out of doing something he legally could do because that lawyer thought it would imperial the presidency for the president to take that action, how does that stand? and if you're a lawyer, are you allowed to do that? are you allowed to mislead your client if he's the president of the quiunited states and you wo in the white house counsel's office? hold that thought. it's time for sleep number's 'lowest prices
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continuing to report on breaking news from "the new york times." michael schmidt broke the bombshell story that james comey had written detailed memos in which he documented how the president had pressured him to end the russia investigation, which he refused to do and proceeded him being fired. tonight we got the very important follow up on that story also from michael. our previous guest, same reporter previous reporting. he said robert mueller confirmed the pressure he faced from the president on the russia investigation before he was fire in may. joining us is a former u.s. attorney for the eastern
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district of virginia and worked side by side with james comey serving as chief of staff. real pleasure to have you with us. i know you joined us on short notice. thank you for being here. >> thank you for having me. >> let me get your top line reaction to the news story from "the new york times." the headline they have put on it is obstruction shows trump's struggle to keep grip on russia investigation from the details of the story, do you feel this advances our understanding of the status of the investigation involving the president and his potential liability? >> it advances both. we know more about it and the stuff we know now that we didn't know before corroborates, not conclusively but occorroborates the notion there was a plot, an attempt to obstruct the russia investigation. >> when mr. comey explained first to reporters that should be said and soon thereafter
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under oath to a congressional hearing that he took those detailed notes, he wrote them up as memos and shared the i informati information, can you explain from a legal standpoint from an fbi standpoint why he did that and would have done that and how that might have helped any legal proceeding going forward? >> sure, both of those make a lot of sense to me, here is why, rachel. i've done it, too. you come out of a meeting and have a phone call and somebody mentions something and strikes you at that time as important, although you don't know the dimensions of the importancimpo. it's something you got to remember. so you commit it to writing. you put it down in an e-mail or memo to file and hold on to it because you don't know where and when this will be important again. i can tell you government officials and i assume people in the private sector do this all the time. i mean, journalists make notes
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of conversations for the exact same reason. i think the second part of your question is a little trickier. how did it matter in a criminal case? something i write, if i am available to testify as a live witness at trial, the thing i wrote isn't evidence. the thing i say in court is the evidence. so if jim comey for instance is available to testify at a trial, then it's the words that come out of his mouth as a witness at the hearing or at the trial that matter. and the thing he wrote isn't in and of itself evidence. it doesn't get marked as an exhibit and doesn't get entered into evidence at trial. i hope that makes sense. >> absolutely. what about another person's notes, another aspect of c
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cooberation, the president described doing and saying what comey described him saying. >> let's talk about mr. priebus's notes. he would be called to testify probably first in the grand jury and maybe later at a trial if one is held. and he would be asked all of the questions that the prosecutors want to ask him but they already know in large part what he's going to say because a, he has a set of notes and b, he's testified to the accuracy of the notes before the grand jury. so once again, his notes in and of themselves don't get marked as an exhibit and aren't admitted into evidence at trial sand all the stuff in the notes is the stuff he's going to say. if he forgets something, an innocent failure of recklation during trial, than a prosecutor can use the notes to refresh his recollection. so they tell the mueller team, they tell the investigators they
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have the right guy. he knows what he's talking about. he made contemporaneous notes, he's believable. we can corroborate him. the notes themselves aren't an exhibit at trial. >> there is one other aspect i want to ask you about. hold with us while we take a quick break but there is remarkable news the president directed the white house counsel to lobby jeff sessions to not recuse himself when we come back. stay with us. >> former fib official. we'll be back. after more than 20 years,
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joining us once again is chuck rosenburg, former u.s. attorney and worked side by side with james comey. he was the chief of staff at the fbi. chuck, thank you for sticking with us. appreciate it tonight. >> you bet. >> so the opening an in this case -- antidote, the reporting from "the new york times" is thistidote, the reporting from "the new york times" is this. trump gave firm instructions, stop the attorney general jeff session from recruiting himself in the justice department's investigation whether they helped the russia campaign to disrupt the 2016 election. don mccann carried out the orders and lobbied in charge of
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inoran anger. i don't know how it works with context whether or not like the attorney general should be recused. for the president to effectively lobby against his attorney general this way. >> well, the president can express a desire that the attorney general stays in a case but you shouldn't be surprised about what i'm about to say, rachel. the department of justice is full of lawyers. there is a bunch of rules written down when you must recuse yourself and should recuse yourself. so the must category is really easy. let's say you would have a financial stake in the outcome of the case. you must recuse yourself. or it involves a family member, you must recuse yourself. but there is also a bunch of instances where you should recuse yourself. where for instance, your
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participation in a case would give rise to an appearance of a conflict of interest because for the justice system, appearances count for a lot and so in my view, this is really a pretty simple call. the attorney general had at the very least an appearance of a conflict. in fact, he may actually be a witness in this case. at least, there is the potential for that. he had to recuse himself and there is nothing the president or anyone else should have done or could have done really to stop that from happening. >> the president getting involved in this way personally directing somebody to go intervene in the process to stop the recusal, could that be construed as a form of obstruction or interference with the work, with the proper working of the justice department around an issue like this? >> the answer to that is maybe. here is why i'll be weasel on my answer to you. the context matters.
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if the president said for instance, find out if he really needs to do this because if he doesn't really need to do this, i would prefer he not. that's not obstruction of justice. if on the other hand, the president says hey, i want you to move heaven and earth to make sure this guy doesn't get out because i need him to protect me, that's closer to the flame. so context really matters. >> the context of the "new york times" reporting tonight is mr. trump said he expected his top law enforcement official, the attorney general to safeguard him. >> yeah. >> last question for you, chuck, it's another point raised in the reporting tonight is that a deputy working in the white house counsel's office reportedly intentionally misled the president about whether or not he had the legal authority to fire the fbi director, believing it would be a bad move and according to michael schmidt, this lawyer let the president persist in a
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temporarily wrong impression that he couldn't fire james comey because he hoped the president wouldn't figure out the legal truth. are lawyers allowed to do that with clients? >> they are not. lawyers have an absolute duty of candor with clients. a point that i don't think changes the answer one bit, if you work in white house counsel's office, your client is not the president of the united states. your client is the office of the president, the institution. the president, of course, represents that office and so you have a duty of candor to the institution and of course, then to the man who represents the institution. so again, sorry to be a lawyer on you. this is what happens when you invite us on your show. there is a duty of candor and i don't think there is a way around that. >> even when your client is the presidency. >> that's right. >> chuck rosenburg, i ask you here because you are not just a
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lawyer but because of your history and working in the upper echelons of the justice department and fbi and also because you're so clear spoken with us about these matters. thank you for being here tonight. >> my pleasure. >> thank you. former u.s. attorney, former head of the d.e.a. and chief of staff and fbi. remarkable reporting from "the new york times." much more to get to, believe it or not, stay with us. shawn evans: it's 6 am. 40 million americans are waking up to a gillette shave. and at our factory in boston, 1,200 workers are starting their day
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the trump white house developed this pattern we have come to recognize easily at this point. it's fun to watch for whenever s somebody gets in trouble. whenever a former administration or campaign officials gets in really hot water, suddenly, they have never heard of that guy. mike flynn, a campaign volunteer. campaign chairman paul manafort, he worked on the campaign for a short period of time, foreign policy advisor carter paige, that dude nobody ever met him. today it was white house chief strategists steve bannon's turn. >> how close were they when they were in the white house? one of the claims in the book is you frequently dined with mr. bannon unless he was already in bed. >> the book says he had been sidelined by april, which i think goes further to indicate he had very little credibility to give much information after that point, which most of the book is based after that time frame. again, this book is mistake
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after mistake after mistake. >> were they not -- >> i'm not aware they were ever particularly close. >> close? steve bannon? who? steve bannon? the guy that ran the president's campaign and give an job in the white house equal to the chief of staff? why would you even think they were close? they definitely didn't dine together and speak. if you are in the room right now, would the president recognize him? everybody says loyalty has always been super important to donald trump. don't let anybody tell you different. the white house isn't the only place steve bannon is being disoc talked about today. they made him a rich man and under written his website to a multi million dollar tune that paid the advocacy group. those billionaire benefactors are cutting him off in the wake of this new book by michael
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wolff that continues to generate gossip and buzz. but beyond the astonishing p proppr purported dialogue, beyond that stuff that has driven so much chatter about this book, there are two questions about what will happen with this book. the first is whether or not beyond the gossip and buzz and reported insults and swearing and fighting that this has all started, beyond that, are there important new allegations in this book that should be pursued as matters for further reporting about the fate of the administration? as we talked about last night, there are two important references that i can see in the book for potential obstruction of justice by the president of members of his family. one has to do with the july meeting on air force one flying back to d.c. from germany. the president and his staff cooked up a misleading statement
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the members have taken with russians in trump tower. we know that meeting was called to deliver russian government provided dirt on hillary clinton but michael wolff reports in fire and furry that on that air force one ride, the president ordered that no one should let onto the more problematic discussion at that meeting about hillary clinton. that flight and that effort by the president to craft that statement described by wolf as a realtime example of denial and coverup and continues mark corallo was instructed not to speak to the press and indeed not answer his phone that week seeing no good outcome and confiding he believed the meeting represented a likely obstruction of justice. mark corallo quit. so according to michael wolff in this book, not only did the spokesman for the president's legal team quit his job in part because he worried about what happened on air force one might have constituted obstruction of justice, that spokesman told
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other people at the time that that was why he was quitting. now, that's important in terms of the reporting here in substantiating these allegations because that's something that can be followed up, right? you can question him and speak to people he might have talked to at the time about his belief that what he was seeing was obstruction of justice. then there is jared kushner's father involved in the pressure to fire james comey reportedly because of an interest in protecting the business from scrutiny by the fbi. that suggests potential obstruction of justice, not by the president but by the president's son-in-law and the kushner family more broad did. let's get the fbi director fired. if that happened, that's a potentially very big deal. that's another thread that needs polling and presumably could be reported out. in addition to that, now michael
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wolff in promoting his book published a piece where he makes two new claims that are also potentially important jumping off points for further reporting. one is this about keith shiller who is very close to the president. he left the white house this fall after serving trump for nearly 20 years. according to michael wolff, quote, trump's loyal body guard keith shriller for reasons whispered about in the west wing was out. so describing keith leaving the white house, he says the reason he left were darkly whispered about in the west wing. that seems worth following up. keith shriller is described as closer and more loyal to trump than anyone. it seems like it should be reportable what is being so darkly whispered about his exit since we had no other extensive explanation why he left. the other claim in this piece today from michael wolff again promoting this new book has to
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do with worries about the president's cognitive state, which is something that's very awkward to talk about but does have constitutional implications, potentially. michael wolff ends the article today with this, quote, at mar-a-lago before the new year, a heavily made up, meaning wearing a lot of makeup, a heavily made up trump failed to recognize a success of old friends. and yes, that is just as buzz aas the rest of the book. if the president isn't recognizing people he's known for years that could speak to his cognitive ability as he's serving as president. it's buzz and got a lot of people talking about the president in terms of i think none of us want any american president to be talked about. but these things have the element of being potentially really consequential and have the advantage of being reportable out, being reportable. if the president encountered
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multiple people in the new years eve celebrations at mar-a-lago and couldn't recognize old friends, that implies there were people around who may have witnessed that or been those old friends that experienced it who can corroborate that reporting and it should be corroborated if it can be and we're trying. we spent the last 24 hours since we got our hands on the book trying to report stuff out. that's one of the next big things that will happen. what can it led ad to? the other big question in terms of what happens next is the remarkable announcement by a president's lawyer they will try to stop publication of this book. they will try to stop the book from being published. the fact i have this book in my hand shows you the likelihood this will succeed. here it is. we are faced with the prospect the sitting president of the united states may be filing a lawsuit against his former campaign chair and top strategists. we're four days into the new year. buckle up. stay with us. nice man cave!
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new era started today. after decades of the war on drugs, almost a million marijuana related arrests every year, possession is now legal in washington state. >> in the 2012 election, voters in washington and colorado decided that their states should legalize recreational marijuana. 19 states had already declared pot legal for medicinal purposes but washington and oregon first
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in the country to legalize pot for fun! no prescription required. just a few months later, the obama justice department issued a memo instructing federal attorneys to pull back from prosecuting those in compliance with the laws in the home states. that became the new policy for federal prosecutors. for the justice department. basically, let the states experiment with marijuana laws. marijuana was still illegal under federal statute but federal prosecutors wouldn't chase down cases in states that had some form of lawful pot. then in 2016, another 3 states voted to legalize medical marijuana and 4 more states approved recreational use. the trend. even the republican nominee for president sounded like he would be just fine keeping the obama administration's hands off policy on pot and letting states decide how to go with it. he got asked about it by a colorado reporter. >> you think colorado should be able to do what it's doing?
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>> i think it's up to the states, yeah. i'm a states person. up to the states. >> i'm a states person. it should be up to the states. absolutely. this was the position of presidential candidate donald trump. today his attorney general jeff sessions rescinded the obama era guidance about pot giving states leeway to produce it -- sorry, to prosecute it in their own way. the attorney general's instructions pave the way for federal pot prosecutions in states where it's declared legal. what does this mean for the 29 states where marijuana is legal under local law for either recreational or medical purposes? what happens to the people in those states who under state law legally sell it or use it? do states have the means to protect the citizens now that the attorney general made the decision at the federal level? joining us is jenny durkin, mayor of seattle, washington, and former u.s. attorney who helped craft the obama 'ra policy on marijuana in the
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states. mayor, really appreciate you being here. thank you for your time. >> thank you, rachel. great to be here and can't believe it's four days into the new year. >> yeah. feels like a number of years under the belt already in 2018. let me ask you about your role in crafting the obama era guidelines in the first place. what was the thinking within the obama era in the justice department about how to manage the fact that marijuana's still illegal under federal law and states had taken steps to legalize it? >> you know, we had to weigh a number of factors and i think looking at what the department of justice's role is in a federal, states is, one we had to ensure public safety and you have to balance it against the states' rights and the 10th amendment and look at the federal interests and so looking -- if you look at the cole memorandum, we are careful to say what are those things that the federal government really cares about and how do we let states within the chalk lines continue to do what they're going to do? and i think we reached the right
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balance. it is shown that it's done away with a lot of the black market. it's helped many, many patients who are facing just debilitating illnesses and embraced by a majority of the states. >> what do you think will happen with attorney general jeff sessions changing this federal guidance now? what do you think the impact will be? >> you know, i think it's going to be a series of battles, unfortunately, again. i think it's very telling that they didn't try to get a court to issue an injunction or to say that states were preempted because i think they would use that legal battle and i also know from being u.s. attorney, you don't have the resources to put legal marijuana out of business. nor should you try. i mean, if you look across this country, every day people are dying because of the opioid crisis. that's where the federal interest should be and i think mayors and governors know that because we see it on the streets of every city in america.
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>> mayor, you said today that the police department in your city in seattle will not participate in any enforcement action related to legal businesses or small personal possession of marijuana by adults. do you see yourself as essentially picking a fight with the justice department? picking a fight with the federal government on that? do you expect backlash from that decision today? >> you know, i would normally say no but with this department of justice and the president, i think we have to assume there will be a backlash. we have staked out the position on immigration to make sure that we're true sanctuary city and they have already told us to deny the funding. we will have to fight that. but we'll protect our legal businesses. but we can also protect public safetyality t safety at the same time and focus on violence, on kids and have an approach that really is holist wick a public health harm reduction model for the war on drugs so i hope we don't have the backlash but, you know, i tell you, we are ready for it. >> jenny durkin, former u.s.
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attorney, mayor of seattle, thank you. >> thank you so much. >> stay with us. we'll be right back. his son-in-law -- secret talks with russians. the director of the fbi -- fired. special counsel robert mueller's criminal investigation has already shown why the president should be impeached. you can send a message to your representatives at and demand they finally take a stand. this president is not above the law.
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just got a few second left. i'll take a point of personal privilege for a sec. nine states activated the national guard with the huge winter storm that hit such a vast swath of the country today. this is a dangerous storm. for real. so if you are somebody who works outside or who had to be out in the elements today in this heavy
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weather, a firefighter or a cop or utility worker or a letter carrier or a plow truck driver or just somebody that drives for a living and had to work today, god bless you. this was a serious thing. but here's the corollary for the rest of us. if you live somewhere in the middle of the storm, and you didn't have to be out in it and you had the nerve to order pizza delivery tonight, i here by declare in effect the terrible weather relative good fortune tipping rule of "the rachel maddow show." 50% min fum tips for pizza delivery or any other kind of delivery to you. 50% minimum. you have to factor that in to your dining plans. deal? i say this as a former bike messenger. deal? all right. that does it for us tonight. stay safe. see you tomorrow. now it's time for "the last word with lawrence o'donnell." good evening, lawrence. >> good evening. watching the storm coverage of


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